Bernalillo County Commissioners approve contract to demolish vacant jail

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The old jail that has sat empty in downtown Albuquerque for years will finally get demolished. That demolition process will start in a month but it will take about 10 months to finish. However, there are plans for that prime spot.

Tuesday evening, Bernalillo County Commissioners approved a contract with Guzman Construction Solutions to use a non-explosive demolition to tear down the building at Fifth Street and Roma. In its place, they’ll put in a parking lot for the county’s fleet of cars.

KRQE News 13 was told the building was last used as a jail around 2010 and since then, it’s been collecting dust and has become a burden on taxpayers. When KRQE News 13 spoke with television and film scouts in a special assignment two years ago, they said the old jail had Hollywood potential.

“This could be repurposed as an old police station, as a jail, we could come up with a million ways to use this building,” said film location scout Alex Gianopoulos. The county was able to lease out the old jail for tv and film productions like “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”.

The county has said that it would cost about $36 million to renovate the building and likely more if it was turned into anything other than a jail. Demolition is expected to start in four weeks at a cost of $2 million.

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